Since 19 December 2003, Chen Si has spent every weekend on the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, a notorious spot from which to commit suicide. Si patrols the bridge on foot and on his motorbike, looking for people who might be contemplating suicide. To Si, these are people “who look depressed, those whose psychological pressure is great” and whose “way of walking is very passive with no spirit, or no direction.” He then approaches them and tries to talk to them; sometimes they are already over the railing, and he has to grab them and pull them back over.
In his talks with these people, Si seeks to learn about their troubles and then find a solution. For example, Si helped Shi Xiqing, a man who tried to commit suicide because of the $15,000 bill for his daughter’s leukemia treatment, by phoning him every week and talking to his creditors.